University Museum of Bergen

Fridtjof Nansen and Bergens Museum

The internationally-oriented research community at Bergens Museum in the 1880s gave him an opportunity to get in touch with international contacts within biology and zoology. The milieu at home and his contacts abroad inspired Nansen to produce specialist results.

This year’s volume of the yearbook contains three articles dedicated to Fridtjof Nansen’s period at Bergens Museum, the former name of the current University Museum of Bergen. It was an inspirational period.

In her article, Karen B. Helle writes about Nansen’s period in Bergen, with important role models both at the Museum and in the city of Bergen. In particular, the Museum’s international network was exciting and professionally useful.

Endre Willassen writes about Nansen’s work on zoological specimens from "Den norske Nordhavs-Expedition" (The Norwegian North Atlantic Expedition). In this material, he found some of the animals he studied in his first zoological dissertation. 

The third article is written by Ortwin Bock, a retired South African physician who examines Nansen’s PhD thesis on the central nervous system of the hagfish, which in retrospect has been recognised as an important, new contribution to the understanding of neuroscience.  Bock is curious as to why Nansen’s contribution was completely overlooked in connection with the conferment of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine of 1906.

The articles are, with the exception of one, written in Norwegian.

Bock’s article: “Fridtjof Nansen and the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine of 1906” is written in English in full, with a short Norwegian summary

The yearbook can be purchased for NOK150 from our online shop, or from the museum shops at Haakon Sheteligspl 10 and Muséplass 3.